The new year brought a raft of records to the Port of Long Beach, where January container volumes reached an all-time high for the month.
Workers moved 657,830 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) through the harbor in January, 12.9 percent more than the same month last year. The total marks the first time Long Beach has surpassed 600,000 containers in the month of January. The quick start to 2018 comes after officials recently announced that 2017 was the busiest year in the Port’s 107-year history, reaching 7.54 million TEUs.
“The pre-Lunar New Year surge is definitely here,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero, taking note of the upcoming two-week holiday period in Asia, the Port’s primary trading partner. “Since this year’s holiday begins Feb. 16, we anticipated a busy January and February, as cargo owners seek to get goods shipped ahead of the festivities.”
Imports hit a record 324,656 TEUs in January, 8.6 percent higher than last year. Exports rose 1.9 percent, to 120,503 TEUs. Because imports outnumber exports, empty containers sent overseas (to be refilled with goods for import) spiked 28.5 percent, to 212,671 TEUs.
“The Port of Long Beach is happy to have a great start to 2018, especially after the successes of last year,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “We wish our supply chain partners in Asia a prosperous Lunar New Year and we’ll be doing all we can to ensure we can continue to grow our businesses together.”
In recent years, as cargo patterns have adapted to industry and economic changes, January has been a reliable growth month for the Port of Long Beach. Last year, container traffic increased almost 9 percent compared to January 2016, a month when cargo swelled 25 percent from January 2015.
Source: Port of Long Beach